Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ci Vediamo, Bologna!

After a sometimes harrowing final examination period, I jumped through my last hoops and came out whole on the other side.

And how sweet that other side is! I spent my last week in Bologna sleeping in until the sunlight streaming through my windows woke me up, eating delicious Bolognese (and Georgian) food, and savoring all of my last memories in Italia.

My time in Bologna ended in four wonderful events.

The first was the class dinner/awards ceremony for my debate course, where I got to take the role of MC and host, giving out awards (which were actually bottles of Pignoletto, spray-painted gold a la the Stanford Band) to all of the debaters.

The second was a dinner at Da Vito, the place I had dinner my first night in Bologna. There was a group of about 40 of us, and periodically throughout the night we would heckle someone to stand up and give a toast (I gave the first, of course). By the end of the night, after plates and plates of primi and secondi and a few bottles of delicious vino da casa, all 40 people had given a toast. Wonderful night. Wonderful.

This is called stinko. It is delicious.

The third was our commencement ceremony. Our whole class, plus some parents and other hangers on, listened to some amazing speakers, including our own Matt Carroll, who maybe gave the most legendary commencement speech in SAIS history (link to come later). After the ceremony, we went upstairs to the roof/penthouse for pasta, wine and lots and lots of photos.

The fourth and last was our commencement party that night. Our student government rented out a bar in Piazza Verdi and we all rolled in looking very smart (the theme was Italian Mafia). We had a great night of dancing to the best party playlist I've ever heard, courtesy of the geniuses behind the music blog Basil Not Mint.

The next morning, I threw my whole life into my suitcase-and-a-half and began my new adventure. Italia, you've been awesome, but I think I'm too excited about going toward the future to be sad about leaving the past.

Arrivederci, Bologna, era divertente!